From Steve’s Desk:
As the darkness gives way to light, there comes a renewed hope in the dawning of a new day. I love the hours of the dawn. I love to see the sun rise and hear the birds sing its praise. There is just nothing better than to begin your day looking at the sky.
Over the course of these next few weeks and days as we approach our celebrations of Christ’s Resurrection, let us take the time to look up and see the light that has dawned. The light of Christ has changed our darkness and given us a life of hope and assurance. Isaiah said that the people living in darkness have seen a great light!
On that first Resurrection morning, the ladies got up before the sun rose and headed to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body with herbs and spices, as was their custom. They were unable to complete this task when Jesus was hastily being buried before darkness fell and the sun set for the Passover.
I often imagine what it was like as they walked to the tomb. They were surely lost in their sorrow and despair. Their teacher and friend was murdered before their eyes. They were also probably somewhat afraid, in fear that they might also be put to death as a follower of Jesus. But, in face of it all, they went. I wonder if they looked up at the sky or did they look down to the dirt? Did they even hear the birds singing, or were there any birds to sing?
Then as they approached the tomb, they knew immediately that something was wrong. The stone was rolled away. As they looked inside, they saw the burial clothes and an empty grave. Disbelief and shock probably took over their minds as they looked to each other for answers. Surely someone had stolen his body.
Of the accounts of this moment, they differ in small ways; but they all have an encounter with an angel of the Lord who spoke to them with the assurance that Jesus was not dead but alive, just as He said.
They were probably overwhelmed by disbelief and flashbacks of what Jesus had told them. Then as they pondered that He was alive. How? Really? Where is He?
Then in that moment when they come face to face with Jesus, can you imagine? I really can’t. As they tried to touch Him, He stops them because He has not been to the Father yet. Oh, just to touch Him to have proof. Is it really Him?
The joy of Jesus’ Resurrection is the reason we look forward to gathering together on Easter morning in the early hours to remember in hope and to again feel that excitement of knowing that He is alive. That is worth celebrating once a year; but it is that same hope that we can celebrate every morning with every sunrise.
When we look to the beauty of the eastern sky as the sun rises, I hope that we also look to it with the hope of Jesus second coming. Jesus ascended into Heaven and the Apostles and Disciples looked up and watched Him fade into the clouds. Then the angel told them that He would come back in the same way. So, I am sure that throughout the rest of their lives they looked up every chance they could in hope that they would see Him return. I, too, look to the sky in hope; but can often be distracted and forget to look up. Keep looking! Keep hoping! He is coming back because HE IS ALIVE! Celebrate this Easter with us at our Sunrise service, but also celebrate the hope of His second coming every time we see the sky.